Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lunes es la dia de las hormigas

So we haven´t been here a week and we´ve already forgotton how to type in english. It doesn´t help that the spell check is turned on for spanish. ANYWAYS... here we are at the little internet building in sarchi...equipped with videogames and lots of schoolkids watching youtube...not so different from home. But on the farm where we´re staying its a pretty different picture. since we arrived on thursday of last week, we´ve worked four days out of five, doing various farm chores ranging from digging holes (huecas) to planting coffee bushes (plantas) to raking muck from the bottom of a drained lake (mal tiempo).

Monday was the day for las hormigas. We started the day by collecting hundreds of fallen mangos, knocked from their tree by sunday´s tropical storm. Suffice it to say that this added wetness was a boon for the bugs. Before bed sunday night, we were visited by dos cucarachas and muchos hormigas con alas (wings). so we woke up feeling itchy already. After collecting the muchos mangos, sam was instructed to climb in the back of a tractor and move about 15 palm trees in plastic bags. These baby trees weighed muchos and were swarming with translucent spiders and small red hormigas. These hormigas found new home in Sam´s shirt. They pique wherever they walk and are so small that they look like moving dust. Sam hates itchy red bumps.

Soon we were planting these palms along the side of a road. The digging for Sam is fun and meditative. However, he soon stepped on several casas de hormigas negras. These are black ants, which are easier to see but much more pernicious than their red amigos. They soon found their way up Sam´s leg and into his pants. Ants in Pants. Angel (our guia) said ¨take off pants" but in spanish. although sam has not been able to understand everything...this was an obvious instruction and he dropped his pants at once. After killing any ants he could see on his body he set out to avenge his pain. we spent the rest of our afternoon spraying our quaint cabina with bleach and insecticide. Claire was not feeling it. She had been instructed the day before to spread herbacide in the feild and and seen enough bugs die in a 24 hour period to feel at peace with the few that remained in the cabin. Needless to say...In about an hour, there was a mass exodus of flying ants from our sink. They wriggled and writhed their way across our floor and left this world lying on cold cement. RIP ANTS

but the cucarachas are still to be found...


  1. I was sure that you would have significant encounters with the amazing insect world in the tropics. We are in kansas city at Mary anne and Bob's house -- so nice to sit outside and have it be warm -- although the sun was shining in the Oceanview when we woke up this morning!

  2. oh no, ants in pants...that is the scariest thing. but sounds like a great adventure so far, besides all the insect stories.

    happy anniversary!!! it's your 6th?